Christopher Creek Campground runs along the banks of Christopher Creek, near Payson, Arizona. The high elevation of the campground – 5640 feet – is responsible for the crisp air and scenic views making this campground a popular spot throughout the season. It is located within the Tonto National Forest which is full of oaks, junipers, manzanita shrubbery, and ponderosa pines that add to its charm.
The campground is just below the Mogollon Rim, a cliff spanning over 200 miles that runs through Arizona. A result of millennia of erosion and faulting, the Rim is a natural boundary between the crisp mountain country and a dry desert. The campground, although being on the lower, desert side, is cooled by the creek waters and lush forests that surround it.
This family-friendly campground offers 43 sites, located on both sides of the Christopher Creek, that are available on a first come first serve basis. There’s a group site for up to 25 guests that can be reserved, too. Access to the campsite is paved and the sites can host vehicles up to 22 feet in length. Campsites come with tables, grills, and fire rings, but no utility hookups or showers. Guests can enjoy fishing, mountain biking, and horseback riding, and there are three swimming holes available to cool off in during the summer months.
The campground is within bear country, so guests are advised to be cautious while staying there and advised to bring bear-proof containers. If none are available, all food items, as well as other strong scents (lotions, sprays, toothpaste, etc.) should be locked in trunks or hung from trees.
This campsite welcomes pets along. While you are staying there with your dog, make sure they are always leashed when they are outside of your vehicle so they are safe, and make sure to clean up after them and dispose of all your garbage so it doesn’t attract bears.